Home CFB Borden Introducing Poppi’s: Base Borden’s Upcoming Italian Family Restaurant

Introducing Poppi’s: Base Borden’s Upcoming Italian Family Restaurant

From left to right: Michael Charles Long (Poppi), Adam Traegner, Jennifer Long-Allen, Honorary Colonel Wayne Hay, Honorary Colonel Jennifer Armstrong, Chief Petty Officer 1st Class Robert Wilcox and Base Commander Colonel Jonathan Michaud standing outside of the Poppi’s location on Ramillies Road, CFB Borden (Caleb Hooper/Borden Citizen)

Set to open this winter, Poppi’s is the name of the newest Italian spot to grab a bite on CFB Borden

Jennifer Long-Allen has been working in the food industry since she was 13 years old, peeling chicken at Swiss Chalet, but in 2018 she became the owner of catering company, Cravings Fine Food; the parent company of CFB Borden’s first family Italian eatery, Poppi’s.

Long-Allen described why her restaurant is the perfect fit for CFB Borden, offering its space to members and their families for a dining experience everyone can enjoy.

“My dad was also a [CFB Borden] base kid,” Long-Allen said. “He played hockey, baseball and went through all of elementary school here.”

The Poppi’s logo features handwritten text from Long-Allen’s father, Michael Charles Long, who is lovingly known as Poppi at home. Alongside the text is an interpretation of the poppy flower to resemble the strong CAF connection between her and her staff’s families.

The interior layout of Poppi’s undergoing renovations in October 2023 (Caleb Hooper/Borden Citizen)

“It’s a sentimental thing,” Long-Allen said. “He’ll always be in that logo. Even when he’s not with me, he’s there.”

Long-Allen’s spouse and business partner Adam Traegner will be the General Manager of Poppi’s once the restaurant is open, and he also has a direct connection to the CAF with both his brother-in-law and sister being members living in Borden.

Cravings Fine Food was established in 2006 and Long-Allen aims to maintain the integrity of the Italian family heritage woven into the Poppi’s menu by using the foundational dishes that were passed onto her in 2018 such as the tomato sauce, Aranchini (risotto balls) and pizza recipes.

Poppi’s is putting CFB Borden families first by establishing a dedicated kid’s space and private dining area with room to accommodate up to 30 guests.

“From my perspective, there hasn’t been really an opportunity to have a family experience,” said Long-Allen. “Other options that have been provided in the past were geared towards a new military member, so predominantly, young men and that’s just not the demographic anymore, right? We have 900 families [on CFB Borden].”

Although its menu is still being developed, Poppi’s is set to feature classic Italian dishes ranging from handhelds and flatbreads to pizza and pasta, while offering meals the whole family can enjoy and glasses of wine for the adults. To keep track of Poppi’s development, make sure to check out the Base Commander’s initiatives page where you can find updates of all upcoming changes to CFB Borden.

By Caleb Hooper